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Catalina Restaurant Owners Face Prison Time for Underpaying and Overworking Employees

Plus, José Andrés hosts a dinner series, the best mariscos in LA, and more

A wide look at an ocean bay protecting boats on a coastal island at daytime.
The crowded harbor of Catalina Island.
Wonho Frank Lee
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

Last week, District Attorney George Gascón charged the owners of Original Jack’s Country Kitchen, Mrs. T’s Chinese Kitchen, Avalon Bake Shop, and Original Antonio’s Pizzeria and Deli with felony grand labor and wage theft, reports the Los Angeles Times. All the businesses are located on Catalina Island, which is part of Los Angeles County. If convicted, prosecutors say the couple could face 22 years in prison for withholding over $1.5 million in wages while expecting them to work 18-hour days.

Arthur Tucey and Yueh Mei Tucey are also being investigated by California’s Labor Commissioner, whose team began looking into the businesses in 2017. Their findings were that employees were frequently underpaid, worked long hours, and were forced to clock out early to avoid paying overtime. Gascón said that many of the victims were also immigrants living on the Tucey’s property.

A dinner series by José Andrés

Humanitarian chef, World Central Kitchen founder, and Agua Viva and San Lauren owner José Andrés is hosting a new dinner series called Feeding Hope L.A. The series is designed to support the work of Andrés’ non-profit with the chefs Evan Funke, Giada De Laurentiis, and Michael Voltaggio on November 7. In addition, Stephanie Izard and Nyesha Arrington will cook on November 8. For the full schedule and to secure a $350 ticket, click here.

West Hollywood’s Eat + Drink week

West Hollywood’s fourth annual DineLA-esque Eat + Drink Week runs from November 3 to 12. Head to restaurants like Tesse where $45 will secure a four-course dinner. At Bar Next Door, staff prepared a special cocktail called the Yellow Jacket with lemon, honey, coconut milk, yellow Chartreuse, edible glitter, and Botanist Gin for $14.

Texas Loosey’s destroyed

Torrance’s 41-year-old restaurant Texas Loosey’s was burned down by a three-alarm fire early this morning. First reported by Fox 11, the cause of the fire is still being investigated and there were no reported injuries.

Mariscos in Los Angeles

One can never get enough mariscos Mexicanos in Los Angeles. PureWow assembled a list of its favorites including Mariscos Jalisco, Holbox, and more.